Recently I was asked to come up with a personal mantra as part of a business course I am taking.
This was supposed to be a phrase that would bring me comfort and renewed focus if, as often happens in life, all was not going according to plan. Living in a ‘woke’ society, positive affirmations are a dime a dozen these days.
A quick Google search for personal mantras will give you more positive affirmations than you can shake a mala at.
Most of the sayings I was finding didn’t carry any weight with me. As a Gen X-er, they just felt too fluffy for my taste. I grew up during the era of posters with cute kittens slipping off a branch bearing the words, “Hang in there.”
We were the kids who grew up on tough love. Personal mantra? My mother’s mantra was, “Because I said so, that’s why.”
The exercise felt goofy but I wanted to put in the work and find something that actually held meaning to me. When I’m having a lean month, I need a saying with a little more depth and personal meaning than, “I dare to be different” or “Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”
Growing more and more frustrated I looked over at my desk, and that’s when it hit me.
I already had a personal mantra.
Here’s the thing about wisdom, it often shows up in the most surprising places.
A few years ago I was visiting my friend who lives in Pittsburgh. She took me to this fabulously irreverent brewpub for dinner. The Church Brew Works is, as the name implies, located in a beautiful old church. (If you are ever in Pittsburgh I highly recommend it, but that’s a post for another day.)
While we were perusing the menu, my friend expressed concern over the size of the pizza to our waitress. She wondered if these were personal size pizzas or if they were a typical pizza to split among the table. Without skipping a beat the sage taking our order smiled and said,
“Every pizza is a personal pizza if you truly believe in yourself.”
Bam! Talk about enlightenment.
I came home that weekend and wrote those brilliant words on a notecard which has hung above my desk ever since.
Let’s face it, that little slice of wisdom is all you need to get you through the scalding hot cheese of life. What’s your personal mantra that gets you through those tough spots, dear reader?